Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Clipper's Vera Cruise Build

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Anchor Well Trials And Carlings Started

Last posting, I was trying to get an anchor well started. The idea was to have an anchor well floor that was angled down slightly at the aft end and angled up slightly on each side with a narrow flat section in the middle. The goal was to get the water to flow to the center aft part of the floor and then through a drain and out the side of the boat through a hose.

Before starting on the floor, I needed some idea of it's actual size and shape. I also needed to have some way to support it at the height I intended to mount it. After a bit of trial and error, I figured out I could use a spring clamp at the front to support that edge and a piece of lumber clamped to the frame 6 bulkhead to support the aft edge. A fair amount of fiddling around with it and I had the supports in place so that the floor would angle down at the aft end.

Aft support is shown to be level side to side here

And fore and aft supports are angled down at aft end here

Next up was the pattern for the floor. I used the same witness stick approach I've used elsewhere. For those unfamiliar with this, it requires a panel somewhat smaller than the area you are trying to fill and a bunch of pointed end pieces. The pointy pieces are hot glued at various points on the panel with the pointed end touching the walls of the boat. When completed, you have a fairly accurate template that you can then transfer to plywood for the final product.

The template was transferred and the part cut out a bit oversize. The idea here was that I wanted to bend the plywood up at the sides with the 4" rectangular section in the center running fore and aft. I was planning on using boiling water to "persuade" the plywood to bend. Here was my first attempt. While it looks like the plywood is angled down, in reality all it was doing was sagging under the weight of the cinder block. When the weight was removed, it straightened out. I tried several times and eventually got the panel distorted. But instead of being bent, it was curled.

So that piece didn't work out. Next I thought about making the floor out of three pieces, using epoxy and fiberglass to hold it together. The three pieces were cut out and a slight bevel placed on the center piece. Then they were epoxied together. I figured I would add fiberglass tape afterwards to strengthen the joints.

After the epoxy cured, I laid the floor pattern on the part and marked out edges of the panel. Doing it this way, after the glue up, ensured that the floor piece would still fit in the anchor well.

It was at this point that things changed somewhat. It was a weekend and I got an opportunity to go out on a friend's wooden boat. His boat also has an anchor well, but his approach was different than mine, requiring simply a flat floor and no drain in the center. Instead, he had two elliptical haws holes, one on each side of the well that went through the side of the boat. The heeling of the boat under normal use was sufficient to drain the well. This seemed like a far less complicated way to do this than my original design so I decided that this would be the way to go with mine as well. For the heck of it, I tried to fit the glued up floor into position and realized that it wasn't going to work either.

I wanted to try my friends approach, unfortunately, I have temporarily run out of plywood large enough to make the floor panel. Since I either have to have this shipped or drive a 4 hour drive to Houston to get it, the anchor well is temporarily on hold.

However, there are plenty of other things to do on the boat. One area that I was anxious to get started on were the carlings. The carlings, are 16 foot long structural members that are mounted on the inside of the frames running from frame 5 aft to the transom. Their main purpose is to prove a mounting point for the cabin sides. They also define the side decking and provide support on the inboard edges of that decking.

The first order of business was to get an angle cut on the forward end so that it matched up to the gussets on frame 5. Since the lumber was longer than area it was being installed, I had to use some temporary "faux" carlings made from plywood. A piece long enough to mount over two frames was sufficient for this purpose.

It was butted up against the frame 5 gusset. A straightedge ruler was clamped into position to establish the actual angle needed and then marked with a pencil.

The plywood was then cut on this line and the angle transferred to the real lumber and cut off.

Then, again using the "faux" carling plywood, I repeated the steps on the aft end of the boat to get the transom angle. I measured the distance from frame 5 to the transom and marked this on the carling lumber. Using the plywood, I aligned it with the mark and penciled a line. Not completely trusting this approach, I cut the carling lumber longer than the line and gradually trimmed it down until it fit in place.

In order to support the carlings while fitting, I used "C" clamps on the frames as supports. Then used my slide clamps to hold the board in position.

Fitting these carlings required some futzing around with the parts and a bit of trimming or making shims. The goal was to have the part in place and straight from front to back and even with the frames in the center of the boat. At the aft and forward ends, because of the shape of the boat, the carlings stuck up some and this will be faired away later.

Cleats were placed in position on the forward end to hold the part there. On the aft end, some blocking will need to be fashioned and inserted there to give additional support. However, I currently don't have any lumber thick enough for that, so that step will have to wait a while.

So it's Sunday early evening, humidity feels like 1000% and I am calling it a day.  Here are a few final shots. The carlings are mostly fitted with just a bit more work to be done.

Take care.

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